Saturday, March 16, 2013

Operation Who and Whom!

I can't sleep.  I've been laying awake since 1:11.

At 2:12 I realized a light was on somewhere and sent myself on a secret covert mission: Operation Find-The-Light-And-Turn-It-Off!  I envisioned my very own 7-foot, 300 pound drill-seargent – complete with space between his thumb-sized incisors – calling me maggot and such.  GET OUT THERE YOU MAGGOT! FIND THAT LIGHT YOU LIVER-LIPPED LOSER!  TURN IT OFF AND REPORT BACK TO THAT MATTRESS BY OH-TWO-TWENTY! YOU HEAR ME?! YOU SOUR-SMELLING SASQUATCH!  GO!

Operation Find-The-Light-And-Turn-It-Off revealed two Yahoos, in the same chair, all cuddled up 'n exercising those opposable thumbs to the beat of Batman Lego 2.  If you get straight As at my house, I buy you a game.  And the Friday following the purchase of said game turns into a somewhat all-nighter.

(I need to be careful about this top secret intel, as the neighbor kids will want to be part of my progeny. Chitlins from far and wide will beat down the doors with raging report cards.  So, MUMS THE WORD... GOT IT?!  YOU HEAR ME MAGGOT?!)

After I found the Yahoos and the light, I didn't turn it off or send them to bed, and returned to my attempt at slumber.

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Here's one thing that rarely happens for me: insomnia.  I've been lucky that way.  I'm not a tosser or a turner.  When I hit that mattress, it's near-death until the alarm goes off.

I'd say that this insomnia thing has had me for a few days.  I'm a touch concerned, but only a touch.  On Wednesday I heaved and ho-hummed.  Thursday was a fitfull bunt and buck (but not that kind of bunt buck.) And Friday was a  sweaty launch and lob (but not that kind of sweaty launch and lob.)   Which leads us to Saturday's toss 'n turn – happening right now, on the internet near you (but not that kind of internet tossing and turning.)

In my usual, do-something-now panic, my mind produced a perpetual cycle of you-need-to-sleep-now-or-else, that lead to more anguished-arousal (but not that kind of anguished-arousal,) that lead to more do-something-now panic.  

This is when the thunder-toothed, maggot-mouthing drill sergeant came back.  DO SOMETHING! YOU BUBBLE-BRAINED FART! he hollered.  GET YOUR ASS INTO A COMA, STAT!  YOU GOT A RUNNING DATE AT OH-SIX-THIRTY!

In an effort to appease my inner-sergeant, I drummed up the next secret cover mission: Operation Who and Whom.  Surely some proper-use research of who and whom would do the drowsy duty.  I'm also having some trouble with the usage at work.  Therefore it's high time I get it straight.

After a googling of "proper use of who and whom" – of which produced a-plenty – I chose the third option, Choosing When to Use Who and Whom – For Dummies.  Figured I read the Dummies version of Football, and that put me to sleep.  Perhaps I have found my sleep solution.  'Sides, the sergeant was busy flapping YOU DOUGH-DIMPLED-DUMMY! therefore the dummies version was the obvious choice.

Here it is:
  • Use who and whoever when the pronoun is the subject of the sentence.
  • Use whom and whomever when the pronoun is the object of the sentence.

Still don't get it?  Me neither.  Let's keep going:
  • The subject does the thing.
  • The object has the thing done to it.  Lucky object!  

Now time for the sample sentences:
  • Who did that thing?  Whoever did that thing is a lucky one.
  • With whom did you do that thing?  I did that thing with whomever was available.

Some rules of thumb:
  • "If you have a verb flapping around with no subject, chances are who or whoever is the subject you're missing."  Quotin' the source here; Who is a plagiarizer?  I am not a plagiarizer.  
  • "If all subjects are accounted for and you don't need a linking verb complement, you've reached a final answer: whom or whomever is the only possibility." You plagiarized whom?

Now, if you're having trouble with subjects and objects, or subjects and predicates, you can always consult with Mr. Morton.  If you choose to watch this Schoolhouse Rock episode, of which is a true classic, imagine it sung by that same foul-breathed sergeant, the one who kept me awake all week.
  • Who kept you away all week?
  • You were kept awake all week by whom?  
Still not ready to sleep.  Damn the Drill Sergeant!  

p.s. Today's post is  brought to you by Megan and her inner critic. Turns out she has a drill sergeant too.  


Ryan said...

That was hilarious.

tom lindsey said...

Bunt and Buck ... what is this?

I searched google and the first two hits were your blog, the other was something about "bunt, and Buck Showalter's..."